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- Oak Island Unearthed!

a miner's investigation into the enigma of Oak Island, the Mesoamericans and the treasures buried therein

by John O. O'Brien
designed by francis Mitchell
cover design or artwork by Jacqui Mitchell
drawings by Terrilyne E Cameron
guest editor Virginia Houston

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list price: $19.99
category: History
published: 2014
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John O’Brien first learned about Oak Island in 1958 at the age of twelve, listening intently as his pharmacist father and a Saint Mary’s University professor debated, for an entire winter, the merits of existing theories of Oak Island and the mysterious lost treasures of the world.

After fifty-five years of research and puzzling over this mystery, many visits to the island, tens of thousands of miles traveled, and thirty-six years working underground, as well as countless books devoured about Oak Island, other famous world mysteries and the Mesoamericans, O’Brien had much of the puzzle in hand. However, two issues remained. Although he had always known there was an ancient mine on the island, it took an episode on the History Channel to present the final clue as to what was being mined and where; followed by a recent and significant breakthrough in archeological research.

The latter finally linked ‘ritual mathematics’ with Oak Island measurements; which combined with the scientific findings (e.g., carbon dating, drill core samples, geology) which, for the most part, had been ignored ... and 1000 years of history cemented the conclusions found in this publication. Oak Island, simply put, is an underground operation, and O’Brien’s life-long career as an experienced miner in all capacities - within Nova Scotia and the far-flung corners of the planet - gave him a perspective that has eluded others in what is the world’s longest ‘treasure hunt’.

Readers have even suggested this story is the true ‘W-5 plus one’ of Oak Island - the only original theory with supporting evidence that answers the who, what, where, why and when, as well as how - in a unique and comprehensive way. You will be surprised; you may initially be shocked by some of the connections and conclusions, but the evidence speaks for itself, and the story-telling style of O’Brien, honed in the mining camps of Canada’s far north, will keep you informed and entertained as he solves this enduring mystery.

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Foreword to the International Edition

Various points of view have produced a richly-loaded cart of published conjectures about Oak Island’s treasure, easily generated by the familiar question, “who buried what, and when and why?” That song book, and compilation of guesswork, has itself become a treasure whose value diminishes with each fresh addition. Before the publication of John O’Brien’s Oak Island Unearthed in 2014, no one had been singing from the song-book, geology and mining-for-valuable-commodities. No one had twigged to the significance of there being shafts -- yes, mining shafts – dug down through clay, in a bay rich with islands and peninsulas that were singing “here be huge amounts of clay” to anyone rowing or sailing past and among them.

In writing this, I am acting as a temporary spokesman for things having to do with geology and mining engineering. I was stunned by the primary premise of O’Brien’s book: that some very clever people constructed a fantastic booby-trap by repurposing a mine which for several centuries had been producing a natural commodity that they, alone, considered extremely valuable. That commodity was blue palygorskite clay, and the people were the Maya and the Aztecs. Their palygorskite away-from-home mining was going on as early as about 250 AD, mainly in what is now the U.S. state of Georgia. And by about 800 AD, the Gulf Stream had carried them far enough to reach what would later be known as Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia. In that bay, in close proximity to one another, there is evidence of three such mines. But only the one on East Oak Island, whose bedrock is much deeper than that of West Oak Island, had the huge potential for mining extremely thick veins of blue palygorskite. Carbon-dated coconut fibre has been found from about 800 to 1240 AD. But contact could have been made earlier, and continued later.

Ultimately, the full potential of that mine’s workings was achieved in 1521-1522, when an Aztec armada, escaping from the clutches of Cortés and carrying with them the body and remaining treasures of Montezuma II, made their way up to the old mining grounds in Mahone Bay. In West Oak Island – the one which had not been mined, and whose bedrock was much closer to sea level -- they tunnelled a burial chamber and a treasure chamber. And in East Oak Island, they transformed their old clay-mining-works into a hugely-complex (and now hugely-famous) booby trap. That remarkably clever ruse ensured that their god-king and his treasure were safely entombed.

If the Spanish had managed to learn enough, they might have sought it out. But it was only in 1795 that a couple of Nova Scotia youths accidentally found the depression that was associated with the ancient mine’s tall and capped-off ventilation shaft.

The alluring complexities of that booby-trap have kept ”the search for treasure” going for some 222 years. And, yes, everybody who has been involved in that deep East Oak Island search has been digging in the wrong location. This is to say: the booby-trapped East Oak Island mining-works has served its ultimate purpose.

Just incidentally, the very-experienced former miner and mining supervisor, John O’Brien, has a remarkably deep voice. But more importantly, it is his broad and rich mining experience that has given him a deep understanding of what has gone on at Oak Island. What he has written can resonate well with almost anyone who is a mental deep-digger. From reading his work, one can be transported from believing one or another conjecture, to actually understanding revealed truth.

The people who constructed that remarkable booby-trap had come up here to make use of mining-works that their ancestors had been visiting and working – probably on a regular basis – from about 800 AD. The carbon-dating of coconut fibre from the original mining shaft – now slightly below sea level and found in the mid 1960s – puts the stamp on the beginning of that enterprise. The additional and taller shaft, which is about 320 feet (103 metres) inland from Shaft No. 1 (the South Shore shaft), is what was discovered in 1795 and is the famous “Money Pit.” It would have been dug down when the large potential of the “claim” was fully apparent, and ventilation and product-removal required enhancing. The relentless slave and human-sacrifice culture of the Yucatán area is what sustained the mine and profited from it.

Although O’Brien would not claim to be a scholar, he is an imaginative and relentless seeker whose bold, masterful, and richly-revealing argument has set up conditions for me to swallow his theory, hook, line, and sinker.

Jack Sorenson (PhD) November, 2016

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Contributor notes

John O. O’Brien, Author. Oak Island Unearthed!

John O. O’Brien was the eldest of ten children, born in Halifax, Nova Scotia at the close of WWII. His father, a pharmacist and to whom this book is dedicated, served in the Canadian Armed Services during that war and was a writer as well. John was only twelve years old when he first heard of the treasure of Oak Island, and visited the island with his father in his early and later teens, well before the causeway was constructed. As a result he had more than the usual boyhood dreams of pirates and buried treasure. For much of his life he lived the wanderlust of adventure, spending many years in the great Canadian north as an underground miner in northern B.C. , the Alaskan panhandle., Africa and Nova Scotia..

At age twenty-two he served with the Canadian Army in West Germany during the cold war, but the call of the wild was still in his blood, so after finishing high school and attending Dalhousie, he returned to the north country for another twenty years - plus sixteen more in Ontario, Africa and Nova Scotia - a total of thirty-six (36) years underground. There is little John has not witnessed underground.

But O’Brien also attained other skills from thousands of nights spend in remote locations before TV and the internet: a love of reading and the honing of his story-telling skills, which propelled him to write this current book. In the tradition of the great story-tellers, the manuscript weaves back and forth before revealing its ultimate conclusions. After fifty-five years, many tens of thousands of miles, countless dozens of books devoured about Oak Island, other world mysteries and the Mesoamericans, John had much of the book in hand, but it was the support of his family (a few of which are also writers and poets) who encouraged him to complete the task, as well as a breakthrough in recent archeological research. Oak Island, simply put, is an underground operation!

Some have suggested this story is the true ‘W-5’ plus one of Oak Island, the only original theory with supporting evidence and arguments that answers the who, what, where, why and when, as well as how - in a unique and comprehensive way.

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Editorial Review

“Fascinating read. Information will blow your mind. Amazing!”

“Got the book in the mail today; half way thru it; can’t put it down. Fantastic story.”

“Wow! Never expected that conclusion.”

Amazing theory, although it conflicts with those expressed on the History Channel series. Have they read it?” (They have now; becoming believers! [Ed.])

“So pleased to give this book as a Christmas gift. Too bad it wasn’t longer as he’ll devour it in a weekend”

“Didn’t take but a few pages and I knew where the entrance to Montezuma’s body lie ... The cross and the math supplied by O’Brien confirmed this.”

“Loved the book! (Oak Island Unearthed!) ”

“ I’ve read every book ever written on Oak Island - this is the only one that gives concrete evidence of who did it, why and how in was done. Everything fits.”

”Diggers may be really surprised to ‘unearth’ Montezuma instead of a Templar Knight?”

“ ... it was a book I couldn’t put down. Very educational and O’Brien would make a good detective/investigator. Finished it the day I got it.”

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